If it has been some time since your last dental appointment, you may have forgotten what occurs during a visit. One of the most important things that a dentist does during any routine dental visit is an oral dental exam. Learning what occurs during this process can help you know what to expect. Here are the various parts that compose an oral dental exam.
What Occurs During an Oral Dental Exam?
Examining the Teeth
One of the things that a dentist will do during an oral dental exam is to examine your teeth. They will often use a metal probe that has a small angled mirror on it to look at the front and backs of your teeth. They also have a dental tool that has a small hook on it. They can use this hook to check for any softening of the tooth enamel or dentin or to see if any possible holes in the teeth are indeed cavities or a leftover particle of food that remains. If you have told the dentist about a throbbing tooth, they may use the mirror and hook tool to carefully examine that tooth, ensuring that it is healthy or diagnosing a cavity.
Checking the Gums
When a dentist has the metal probe with mirror attached in your mouth, they are doing more than just looking at your teeth. They are also checking out your gums at this time as well. During a routine oral examine, a dentist will pay close attention to your gums, looking for any signs of periodontal or gum disease. This is the leading cause of missing teeth so it is important that this disease is caught early. A dentist will look for any swelling in the gums, sores on the gums or redness. They will also mentally measure your periodontal pockets. These are the small spaces between where your gum tissue attaches to the tooth and the top of it. If you have gum disease, your gums may recede away from the top of the tooth, causing there to be less of a gum pocket.
Other Mouth Problems
The last thing that is done during an oral exam is a quick check over for other dental or mouth problems. The dentist will quickly glance at the tongue, ensuring it is the right shape and color. They will run their hands along your jaw line and neck, helping to ensure the jaw is properly aligned and there is no loss of bone in this area. And the dentist will glance along the roof of your mouth and back of the throat, looking for early signs of oral cancer. This part of the exam is typically the fastest, and unless you know that it is occurring and why, you may not even realize it is being done or understand its importance.
If you are in need of a dentist in Palm Coast or Holly Hill, Florida, Ronald F. Jacob and his trusted staff at both Modern Dental and Nova Dental would love to assist you. Visit our website today to learn more about our company or to schedule an appointment for a dental visit. Oral health is extremely important, so if it has been six months or longer since your last exam, now is the time to be seen again.